$22.55 Million Aston Martin DBR1 Is The Most Expensive British Car Ever Sold

(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images) /

1956 Aston Martin DBR1 fetches all of $22.55 million at RM Sotheby’s auction at  the Monterey Car Week and becomes the most expensive British car ever sold at auction.

Right after the news of the first US street-legal McLaren F1 being auctioned off for a record sum of $15.62 million at the Quail Lodge Bonhams Auction, here is more to make your lower jaw leave the house. The hero of the tale is a rare 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 and the masterpiece has been sold at a record price of $22.55 million by RM Sotheby’s at the Monterey Car Week.

The $22.55 million sum makes the Aston Martin DBR1 the most expensive British car sold at auction. The previous record holder was a Jaguar D-Type – a 24 Hours of Le Mans winner of 1956 – which sold for $21.78 in 2016.

Back to the Aston Martin DBR1, the car which occupied Lot 148 has got a list of accomplishments which make it super-special. To begin with, it’s the first (DBR1/1) of the five Aston Martin DBR1 race cars ever built and is thereby a crucial part of Aston Martin’s racing history.

It’s also regarded as the most original of the Aston Martin DBR1 cars which remain today.

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Clearly, the most important Aston Martin ever produced, the Aston Martin DBR1/1 may have never won at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. But it had a major role to play in its sister car winning the title in 1959 as the DBR1/1 was extensively used in testing. The racing machine which was among the five built between 1956 and 1958 saw its engine going through multiple iterations before reaching the current state of 2,992 cc and 268 hp.

Maintained by Aston Martin specialists R.S. Williams, who also developed a new 301 hp engine for the previous owner to race at the Goodwood Revival, the DBR1/1 is offered with the original RB6/300/3 engine too. We won’t go racing in the latter though.

The car’s driver seat has brushed against the bottoms of some of the greatest legends in motor racing. Carroll Shelby, Roy Salvadori, Stirling Moss, Jack Brabham and Reg Parnell have piloted this car and Moss had driven it to victory at the Nurburgring 1000 KM.

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RM Sotheby’s auction in 2014 had fielded an extremely-rare Ferrari 250 GTO which went on to become the most expensive car ever sold, raking in $38 million. Think of the Aston Martin DBR1/1 as the English equivalent of that.

Source: RM Sotheby’s, The Telegraph